Leading preschool franchise expands offerings to attract larger pool of business partners.
Rainbow Station, a leader in early childhood education, school-aged recreation and wellness, is expanding its franchise offerings with a smaller model intended to open the doors to a larger pool of potential franchise partners looking to join the growing brand.
“The purpose of this new model is to continue being a quality service provider while meeting all the needs of our franchisees and maintaining the utmost convenience for families,” said Gail Johnson, founder and CEO of Rainbow Station. “Through research, we have found that by expanding our scope of services and franchise options, we’re able to better serve more families with childcare needs.”
The new model still positions Rainbow Station as a premier provider of early education but scales down the size and cost necessary to build a full-fledged campus.
The abbreviated school costs roughly 40 percent less than a full-size school, which typically runs $5 million to $6 million dollars to build. The smaller version would trim building costs to approximately $3 to $3.5 million and would lower out-of-pocket expenses by as much as $400,000.
The lower cost is directly related to the size of the building and land. A traditional Rainbow Station campus is more than 20,000 square feet, set on three acres, with a Preschool and Get Well Place in one building and an afterschool recreation program in another. The scaled model is only 14,000 square feet and sits on a smaller parcel of land (less than two acres), making it easier to find real estate.
The model came to fruition after research was conducted to pinpoint what is required to meet the needs of both potential prospects and families in the area. Rainbow Station found that markets with less of a need for afterschool care require a smaller infrastructure, fewer teachers and shorter hours. For example, in markets where schools let out later, there is less of a need for after-school supervision because it’s easier for parents to find child care solutions for one hour as opposed to three hours.
“The model represents a turning point for smart growth and a perfected system from an operational standpoint for Rainbow Station,” said Earl Johnson, Vice President of Real Estate and Sales. “We currently have one scaled model in development in Indianapolis, and we hope to sign five more smaller-model schools this year.”
Rainbow Station has three full-sized schools under development in the United States that are set to open next year. Additionally, the brand expects to sell at least 15 schools this year domestically and open at least the same number in China. Rainbow Station is reorienting curricular programs and adding more classes as part of a strategy to boost same-store sales by 7 percent this year.
Currently, Rainbow Station is allowing parents to enroll children in an all-day preschool program or choose a la carte enrichment classes to enhance other activities. This strategy is now being applied to domestic locations after being successfully exhibited at Rainbow Station schools in China.
Rainbow Station schools continue to differentiate themselves with its Leadership program using as its core The Leader in Me® initiative, Franklin Covey’s education transformation process based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rainbow Station was the first company to execute The Leader in Me® model at the preschool level in the U.S., as well as to launch it internationally. The school’s summer program, Camp Blue Sky, is currently in its third year of offering new programs and events.
Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the Rainbow Station brand was conceived and refined by Johnson and a talented leadership team. Today, Rainbow Station is internationally recognized as the only early learning institution to offer such a premium suite of services. There are 10 Rainbow Station campuses located in the United States — including franchises in North Carolina, Texas and Virginia — and three preschools in China. All franchisees, domestic and international, are committed to Rainbow Station’s vision of excellence and promote the success of each child enrolled.